The head of Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) bought Time magazine and related properties for $190 million. Meredith Corp (NYSE: MDP), which bought Time parent company Time Inc. in January 2018, announced that Marc Benioff would be the owner.
Time magazine was co-founded in 1923 by journalism giant Henry Luce, who also created Fortune, Life and Sports Illustrated. Meredith has had several of the Time Inc. properties on sale for several months. These include Fortune and Sports Illustrated.
Benioff is said to have a net worth of $5.5 billion. He and his wife will not be involved in Time’s daily operations.
Meredith President and CEO Tom Harty said:
We’re pleased to have found such passionate buyers in Marc and Lynne Benioff for the TIME brand. For over 90 years, TIME has been at the forefront of the most significant events and impactful stories that shape our global conversation. We know TIME will continue to succeed and is in good hands with the Benioffs. We thank the TIME team for its ongoing hard work and passionate commitment.
Benioff and his wife said:
“We are honored to be the caretakers of one of the world’s most important media companies and iconic brands,” said the Benioffs. “TIME has always been a trusted reflection of the state of the world, and reminds us that business is one of the greatest platforms for change.”
Time is the latest major media brand to be bought by a billionaire. Among the most recent was the Jeff Bezos buyout of the Washington Post for $250 million. That deal closed in October 2013.
Meredith will continue a relationship with Time. According to Meredith management:
As part of the transaction, Meredith will provide short-term business continuity services and has entered into a multi-year agreement with the Benioffs to provide services such as consumer marketing, subscription fulfillment, paper purchasing and printing. Meredith will also be able to include the TIME brand in large corporate advertising buys.